Having come through the youth teams at Tottenham, Nabil Bentaleb really broke into the first-team set-up in north London under the management of Tim Sherwood.
The Algerian featured 29 times under the former Spurs boss, scoring four goals and providing a further three assists too. It was no surprise that Sherwood waxed lyrical about the midfielder’s abilities when he made his early breakthrough.
Speaking back in 2014, he said: “I think he’s been great. I know Bentaleb, I know what he possesses. He trains like every day is the last day in the world and that’s a great trait to have for a young kid. when he came on against Southampton, I was sure about him but you never know until you put them on the stage.
“It shows that he’s unfazed and, for me, his performances are growing from week to week. He’s performing very, very well.”
But following Sherwood’s exit, things took a downturn for Bentaleb’s Spurs career.
The midfielder scored just once in the 46 games that he played for Sherwood’s Spurs successor, Mauricio Pochettino, and evidently the Argentine wasn’t a big fan of his talents as he shipped him out on loan to Bundesliga side Schalke for the 2016/2017 season.
After enjoying a largely impressive debut campaign – he scored five times and provided four assists in 32 top-flight games – it was unsurprising that Schalke decided to sign him on a permanent basis. But after putting pen to paper on a long-term deal to stay in Germany, Bentaleb really struggled to kick on.
That then prompted a loan switch back to the Premier League to Newcastle, but after failing to make a big enough impression on Tyneside, the Magpies declined to take up their option to buy.
After struggling back at Schalke, the now 27-year-old Bentaleb recently joined Ligue 1 outfit Angers in the January transfer window, where he’s been a much more regular presence, playing in the past eight games in the league.
Sold for a reported £16m, the Algeria international is now worth just £1.6m according to CIES – a dramatic ten-fold decline in value for a player who arguably is in the peak years of his career given his age.
After promising so much as an up-and-coming star at Spurs, Bentaleb now finds himself finally rebuilding his career in France.